Movement of demihuman classes

Do demihuman characters move at a rate of 120’/turn as humans do? Even gnomes?

If they do, I guess that the stats for dwarves in the Monsters chapter have the encumbrance into account.

Dwarves, gnomes, and Thrassians have a base movement rate of 60’ per round.

Thank you Alex. That seems fair.

Can I find that anywhere on the rules? I have found it only for Thrassians.

But … how did Gimli, Legolas and Aragorn close the distance on Saruman’s elite half-orcs? 60’ isn’t running anyone down (no matter how fantastic a guide Aragorn might be).

That changes a lot! I don’t recall seeing anything for dwarf and gnome movement in their racial class entries.

One extra question: How are these slower races effected by encumbrance? I’ve been playing that Thrassians aren’t further slowed until the 10 stone level where even humans are dropped to 10 stone. It would be crippling to any armored dwarf otherwise.

that was definitely nowhere to be found in the core rulebook, and it seems like a pretty huge nerf to dwarves. The thrassian speed makes sense because their racial abilities provide an attack routine, AC from natural armor, and a faster-than-fighter attack progression.

You’ll probably want to errata the core rules to include that information, but I can’t see myself making the dwarf vaultguard in my campaign go down to 30’ per turn wearing only his armor and weapons, or as low as 15’ if he gets the slightest bit more encumbered.

It’s not anywhere to be found in the rules directly. It is implicit in the monster listing.

The Dwarf monster entry shows Dwarves with AC 5, i.e. chain armor and shield. That gives them an Encumbrance of 5. Assuming 1 or 2 more stone of items, they are in the 5 1/6 to 7 stone bracket. They ought to move 90’ per turn. The listing places them at 60’. (This is even more true of goblins).

You might interpret this in a few ways:

  1. Dwarves have a maximum movement rate of 60’, regardless of encumbrance, which reduces to 30’ at more than 10 stone.
  2. Dwarves have a base movement rate of 90’, which reduces to 60’ at >5 stones and 30’ at >10 stones of encumbrance.
  3. The monster listing is irrelevant and dwarves have a movement rate of 120’.

#1 is how I have run my own game lately. #2 might be preferable for balance, as it allows the Dwarven Delver to maintain a 90’ move. There’s also an argument for #3.

It is actually something I’m in the process of hard-coding into D@W, so it’s a good time to have the discussion. I don’t have strong feelings about it and would like to hear player input.

I didn’t look TOO closely at the monster movement, figuring that if the PC races had slower movement it would be listed in their class descriptions and brushing off any differences with the monsters as encumbrance.

As for the ruling: While I had assumed ruling 3, I think that it would make sense for dwarves to be slower than humans or elves at low encumbrance, but to match their speed at higher encumbrance (this matches the d&d 3.x “slow and steady” while encouraging heavily armored and/or well-equipped dwarves). Ditto for Thrassians. I’m not sure about gnome or any future small races, however. While I’m not sure if the 3.x-type size categories would be good for ACKS, there are many considerations in terms of stealth, squeezing, encumbrance, speed, equipment sizes, etc. can come into play with such small characters. If you are the size of a child, running with the same load as a 6’5 armored fighter would be difficult.

At this point I’d vote for 2 for dwarves, 1 for thrassians, and I have no idea for gnomes.

The height/stride of dwarves, elves and humans may vary by campaign, but I have always considered the difference between dwarves as a group and humans as a group to be less than the difference between the shortest adult human and the tallest adult human. Thus, I would not get into a “pace” stat based on so fine a difference. If one did so, wouldn’t there be other effects, such as scary fast gnolls, ogres and giants?

For greater differences, like actual “Little People”, of which gnomes might be the largest (again, campaigns may vary), if a pace stat is introduced, I’d like to see it offset by a bonus or bonuses of some sort.

#1 made me think of a variant that could be a racial quirk: “Juggernaught: the character’s speed is reduced to 60 feet, but is unaffected by encumbrance unless it exceeds 20 stone plus their Strength adjustment, at which point they cannot move at all.”

This is a slow race, but if they can get a load started moving, they can keep moving it. It would explain how those dwarven warriors with plate armor and a shield and a spear and a battle axe and an arbalest and a barrel of beer and weeks upon weeks of rations can still march across country at a good clip. :wink:

Personal opinion:

I don’t like #1 as it makes an entire character race a ‘special case’ from your rules on both encumbrance and movement. Unless you’re planning on specifically addressing it in the Core Book as errata, I think it’s a messy way to handle it.

If you make character races universally 120’ it matches the Core book entry on exploration movement but not the monster entry. It’s hard to explain why PC dwarves and gnomes can move twice as far as NPCs other than ‘it’s a game’. Since the system painstakingly goes out of its way to be grounded in some kind of internal consistency, I think that’s a bust too.

I guess I would choose #2. It matches the book entry on dwarves if they’re wearing chain and shield, and it leaves gnomes at 60’ if they’re wearing leather. It still doesn’t match up with the exploration movement rules, but it fits with the encumbrance rules.

Just to make my opinion clear, I would choose #3, dwarves move at 120’, but I would clarify or correct the dwarf monster entry to match that. Also, this has the benefit of being the easiest change.

Ideally, I would consider gnomes to be of similar height/stride as dwarves but with a slighter build, also moving at 120’. However, we probably need “Little People” rules for goblins and kobolds anyway, and I’m not averse to those rules being applied to gnomes.

As a different approach, adding 6-8” to the presumed height of demi-humans may remove the appearance of any issue. (I’m not keen on little elves either :wink: I’ve not seen many people actually role-play elves as being the size of adolescent humans.)

I like the idea of Dwarves having a lower base movement speed, but suffering less from carrying a heavy load.

Agreed. Heavy armor OR heavy encumbrance doesn’t affect their move, which I am going to make 90’. BOTH heavy armor and encumbrance reduce it to 60’. Other short demihumans have 90’ base but suffer encumbrance penalties normally.

Just as a side note, in ACKS (monster description) “Elves are beautiful demi-humans that average 5 ½’ tall, with lithe builds and graceful features”. In the class description for Spellswords it’s noted that “they typically weigh about 130lb and stand between 5 ½’ and 6’ tall.”

Please consider that in the US today the average man is 5’10" tall and the average woman is 5’4" tall, for a collective average of 5’7". Elves are about 1" shorter than modern Americans, considerably taller than much of the human species alive today and certainly moreso than historical humans.

In other words, anyone who thinks that elves are shorter than humans in ACKS is either (a) assuming that’s the case because past fantasy games have insisted they were, (b) overestimating how tall humans really are or were, or (c) not realizing that if elves average 5’6" tall that male elves of 6’ and up will be within a standard deviation of the norm.

[Muhahaha, I smuggled tall elves into my retro-clone and no one noticed!]

After considerable soul-searching, I’ve concluded that dwarves and gnomes should have 120’ movement rates.

Nowhere within ACKS or the Player’s Companion do I specify that they have reduced movement rates, nor is their reduced movement rate reflected in the racial costs in any way.

In playtest, the slow movement rates of Thrassians is one of their chief disadvantages. Imposing this disadvantage unilaterally on dwarves and gnomes seems unfair.

The only argument in favor of a reduced movement rate is the legacy mechanics of D&D 3.5, and one line item in the dwarven monster entry. That’s not enough to make this the right decision. I think I momentarily allowed my bias against short-people-races to obscure my thinking. :wink:

Therefore the ACKS reprint will note dwarves as having a 90’ movement rate in their chainmail-and-shield, e.g. the same as humans, and dwarven units in D@W will have the appropriate movement rates.

Judges can of course impose their own ruling here for their campaigns.

I plead (c): I did not consider that the average height was in fact the average of dimorphic male and female populations. Bravo, tall elves!

Awesome! Yet another reason for ACKS to be my game of choice.

I’m guessing this was missed in the recent Gencon softcover printing, correct?

It was. The softcover print went out before I’d even realized it was an issue. That said, the change is simply that dwarves move 90’. Hopefully it doesn’t ruin the book for you.

We can do a refund if you feel awful about it. :frowning: